Senator Kabiru Marafa, Senate Committee Chairman on Petroleum (Downstream), has revealed how Abdulaziz Yari, Zamfara State governor, allegedly plotted to use 8,500 armed youths under the guise of civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) to destabilise the 2019 elections in Zamfara State.
The Senator also alleged that penultimate Thursday, the governor, because of his inability to force his preferred governorship candidate on the All Progressives Congress (APC), announced the recruitment of 8,500 civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) members, camouflaging to end killings and kidnappings.
Marafa, who was a front line APC governorship aspirant in Zamfara State, however, expressed shock that Yari who had deliberately allowed the banditry in the state to fester, and banned the activities of self-help groups (local vigilante), despite all pleas and suggestions from all well meaning people across the state, would come out to announce the recruitment of 8,500 youth at the twilight of his administration.
The lawmaker in a statement alleged, “From our finding around his political circle, Yari resorted to recruiting 8,500 youths solely to execute his plot to destabilise the 2019 elections in Zamfara State as he did during the aborted October 3 primary election where six people were killed and many more wounded. The recruitment is to cause mayhem, terrorise innocent voters and snatch election materials to actualise his desperate desire to hold unto power beyond 2019 by proxy.
“Because of his abysmal performance in the state, initially Yari thought he would use federal might including security agencies to manipulate next year’s elections. However, with the decision of INEC not to receive any list from APC for Zamfara State (following its inability to conduct primaries and agreed on consensus) all orchestrated by him, Yari has decided to arm innocent youths in the state to upturn people’s will come 2019, since his popularity cannot win him a ward in the state.”
Marafa also alleged that at the height of the killings and kidnappings in the state, Yari abandoned the people and the state for Abuja in the name of national assignment, “junketing from one hotel to the other, while our people are being killed and maimed mercilessly.”
The lawmaker urged President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies to intervene and stop Yari from arming innocent youths in the state to advance his political ambition.